Hi friends! Ropa vieja is shredded beef and vegetables that look like a pile of old rags. In Spanish ropa vieja means “old clothes”, so it makes sense that the dish actually looks like a pile of colorful, old clothes! It’s traditionally made with flank or skirt steak that once cooked, is shredded. It’s a popular Cuban dish and was a staple at my house growing up. What I like most about this version of ropa vieja is that it’s made in the slow cooker. I love that I can put all my ingredients in first thing in the morning and by the time we’re ready to eat in the evening we have a flavorful meal! The house also ends up smelling FANTASTIC!
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To begin you’re going to cut your steak into four chunks and place into your crock pot. Cut your peppers and onion into strips and place on top of the meat along with 6 cloves of garlic and drained Spanish cocktail olives (Please do not purchase these olives from Amazon, you should be able to find them much cheaper at your local grocery store. I provided the link so you can see which olives I recommend for this recipe!). In a small bowl mix together the tomato sauce with cumin, oregano and salt, pour into the crock pot. Put on the lid, cover, set to low and forget about it for the next 7 1/2 hours! When there’s about 30 minutes left of cook time you’re going to want to take the chunks of meat out of the crock pot and shred with two forks. Your meat should be super tender and by this point you should be salivating! It smells incredible!
Put the meat back into the crock pot and give it a good stir before covering again. Allow it to cook for about 30 minutes more. During this time I typically make my sides which consist of cauliflower rice and steamed veggies. You can also serve the ropa vieja with smashed cauliflower (similar to mashed potatoes).
Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja
- 2 lbs flank steak
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4 " strips
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4" strips
- 1 small Spanish onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cups tomato sauce
- 5 ounces pitted Spanish cocktail olives, drained
- 1/2 Tbsp cumin
- 1 Tbsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 garlic cloves
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place crock pot on low setting. Cut flank steak into 4 chunks and place in crock pot.
- Add sliced peppers, onions, garlic and drained olives to the crock pot.
- In a small bowl combine tomato sauce, cumin and oregano. Pour over beef and vegetables. Use tongs to ensures beef is covered in the sauce mixture. Cover crock pot and allow to cook for 7 1/2 hours.
- When there is 30 minutes left of cook time take the chunks of beef out of the crock pot and use two forks to shred. Return shredded beef to crock pot and stir until all the beef is covered in sauce. Cover and allow to cook for 30 minutes longer.
- Serve with your choice of sides.
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